Tag: Jorge Cantu

MLB: The Worst Offense in MLB History, Come on Down San Diego Padres

Embarrassing, pathetic, futile. These are words that come to mind so far this season while watching my Padres become the WORST hitting team of all time. EVER.

San Diego leads all of baseball in several pitching categories, as well as being dead last in almost every offensive statistic. It might be the ballpark, it might be the players, it might be the coaching, and it might be all three of these things, brought together in the perfect storm of hopelessness.

Lets take a quick look at some Padre starters and the numbers they have compiled so far in 2011…

PS- sorry for my absence- no internet at the new house yet…

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MLB Free Agents: Eight Remaining Players Who Could Get a Team to the Playoffs

With Cliff Lee bleeding Philly red, serving the needs of his family and Phanatics, what free agents remaining could possibly take a team into playoff contention?  Adrian Beltre appears to be ready to sign with the Texas Rangers, does that return the Rangers to the playoffs or World Series?  Here are eight remaining free agents could be the missing pieces in the postseason jigsaw puzzle for certain teams. 

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Washington Nationals Can Upgrade First Base with Jorge Cantu and Call It Good

For the last couple of days, I have been doing a lot of writing about the loss of Adam Dunn and how that affects the Washington Nationals.

I’ve been comparing Dunn’s offensive capabilities against two of his most likely replacements, Carlos Pena and Adam LaRoche, and have come to the conclusion that even those two might be more than the Nationals need in 2011.

The Nationals are going to be a better team next season, but not so much better that they are going to be in any pennant chase, even on the periphery. So why spend $8 or $10 million on a replacement when that player will be little more than a public relations move for the fans?

There is no make-or-break player available on the free-agent market or available for trade this off season, so why not lay the foundation for bigger moves next year? Also, Stephen Strasburg won’t be back until late in 2011 and his return will be like adding a type-A free agent.

So 2012 is the future of the Washington Nationals.

Following the 2011 season, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez (now with Boston) and Albert Pujols will be free agents. Certainly, other teams will be in pursuit as well, but the Nationals would certainly have the resources to sign any one of them.

If the Nationals show improvement next season, one or more might be willing to listen.

Further, first base prospects Chris Marrero (.294-18-82) and Tyler Moore (.269-31-111) are still too young to be able to project if and when they will be able to play first for the Nationals any time soon.

So if the Nationals aren’t interested in moving either Josh Willingham or Mike Morse to first (and that seems to be the case), they need a cheap, capable first baseman who has shown in the past he can be counted on.

Enter Jorge Cantu.

Cantu, 29, has spent seven years in the major leagues, splitting time between Tampa Bay and Florida (before being traded to Texas late last season). Over a 162-game season, he has averaged .274-21-94 with 41 doubles and a .320 on-base percentage.

Offensively, he’s similar to Nick Johnson but without the walks (Johnson has averaged .270-20-80 over 162 games played).

He had an off year last season due mostly to his difficulty in learning the pitchers in the American League but his statistics with the Marlins, expanded to 162 games, were just fine. He was on track to hit .262-26-90 in a full season with Florida but his one home run in 98 at-bats with Texas derailed his season.

But as we’ve learned with Adam Dunn, power numbers don’t tell the whole story. Let’s compare Cantu’s lifetime clutch hitting stats with those of Dunn to see just how much he really will be missed.

First, let’s take a look at just their stats while playing first base. Both players have played extensively at other positions so this is how the two players’ stats would look based only time at first and averaged into a 162-game season (easier for comparison purposes)

Jorge Cantu: .285-28-92, .340 OBP and .459 slugging

Adam Dunn: .248-39-102, .376 OBP and .522 slugging

Over 162 games, and based only on offensive production while at first, the differences between the two players are not as much as you would think.

Now lets look at the clutch statistics:

Two out, runners in scoring position:

Cantu: .280/.358/.453

Dunn: .214/.429/.443

Now that’s ugly for Adam, but it gets even worse. His batting average for balls in play (strikeouts don’t effect batting average) is just .191 while Cantu’s is a robust .307.

Late in the game with the score close:

Cantu: .274/.320/.413

Dunn: .233/.382/.476

While Dunn’s batting average for balls in play is better at .295, it still pales when compared to Cantu’s .324.

When the game is tied:

Cantu: .279/.312/.464

Dunn: .247/.386/.539

Dunn’s batting average for balls in play here is just .240, 56 points below Cantu’s .296.

When team is behind:

Cantu: .274/.323/.444

Dunn: .253/.364/.511

Dunn’s .306 average when he puts the ball in play in this category is actually higher than Cantu’s .301.

So, just like Adam LaRoche and Carlos Pena, while Jorge Cantu’s offensive numbers at first glance don’t look as impressive as Dunn’s, he is a far better clutch hitter in the later innings and with the game on the line. So while we all loved Adam, he couldn’t field well and didn’t hit very well when we needed him most.

Cantu was traded by the Marlins this season in part because of the 16 errors he committed but he was playing third base in 2010. At first, he plays acceptable defense and certainly much better than Dunn.

As much as in pains me to say, Adam Dunn won’t be missed by the Washington Nationals in 2011. Either Jorge Cantu or Adam LaRoche can provide the team with more hits and runs when they are needed most, late in the game and with runners on base.

Either Cantu or LaRoche would be a good one-year stop-gap until someone better comes along. 

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Los Angeles Dodgers: Eight Potential Free Agent Signings In 2011

For most teams coming off a disappointing season, it’s relatively simple to evaluate the current roster, take a look at the payroll budget, have the coaching staff gather and brainstorm, then come up with a new, enthusiastic game plan for the upcoming year.

But for the Los Angeles Dodgers, about the only thing certain is that new manager Don Mattingly will be running the show on the field for the Boys in Blue.

With the McCourt divorce seemingly an infinite monkey on their backs, the Dodgers are unsure of the payroll parameters for next year, and with more than a handful of gaps to fill in terms of player personnel, it’s difficult to guess the complexion of next season’s roster. 

Still, even before Los Angeles considers adding new players to the roster, Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti must agree upon a coaching staff who will help guide the squad in 2011.

The Dodgers still have a formidable core of players in which to build around, but Colletti had already stated that no job is safe and that Los Angeles could be in for a large roster shake-up heading into next season.

Several trades are possible, but with the decision in the divorce trial looming, Los Angeles may be forced to remain inactive at the winter meetings, unless some type of budget guidelines are established before a verdict is rendered.

As for the free agent market, the number of high quality starting pitchers is limited, but there are quite a few power bats available—one area the Dodgers must certainly address. With Manny Ramirez out of the picture, and Jason Schmidt, Orlando Hudson and Nomar Garciaparra finally off the deferred money list, there may be enough cash to go after a few big names.

The following slides show eight players who the Dodgers may take a look at in the offseason, and explain why each player may be a good fit for Los Angeles.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking the 10 Best Second-Tier Players

This offseason, Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford will be headlining this year’s free-agent class.  Both players will be demanding major contracts, and both players might end up in New York.

Well, Lee will be in the Bronx, but the verdict is still out on Crawford.

For teams that can ill-afford to get the “Big Fish,” they must look at other options—the second-tier players.  Guys that can still contribute, but will be affordable to acquire. 

With the start of the offseason just five days away for the teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs, here are the 10 best “Buy Low” Candidates for this offseason.

You will not agree with all of my selections.  You will mention guys that I left off.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but this one is mine.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Let’s play ball. 

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Fantasy Baseball By The Numbers: Week 18

The trade deadline came and went, with the usual 80 moves being completed right before the deadline. Worst move? Probably the Twins, who gave up an excellent catching prospect in Wilson Ramos and left-handed pitcher Joe Testa for Nationals’ closer Matt Capps . What was wrong with Jon Rauch’s 21-24 save success rate?

The biggest winner? The Rangers, who acquired an ace pitcher (Cliff Lee ), a veteran catcher (Bengie Molina ), a legitimate first baseman (Jorge Cantu ), and quality infield depth (Christian Guzman ). This team is primed for an explosive second half.

But in fantasyland we care more about the individual than the team, so let’s run through some players whose value changed over the break.



Stolen bases for Scott Podsednik since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that sent prospects Lucas May and Elisaul Pimentel to the Royals. Who would have thought Scotty Pods, who is currently top five in the majors in stolen bases, would be ranked top-65 in Yahoo! leagues at age 34 in Kansas City?

After largely disappearing in Colorado in 2008, he has had a resurgent year and half, batting over .300 and rediscovering his base path magic with 62 stolen bases up to this point. He’s on pace to match totals from his breakout 2003 campaign (100/12/58/43/.314).

Unfortunately, the move to Los Angeles means a serious decrease in playing time. He’ll be valuable until Manny Ramirez returns from the DL in roughly two weeks, but after that he’ll only be useful in NL-only leagues as a high-end bench player.



Wins for Ted Lilly in 18 starts this season. Along with Podsednik, the Dodgers acquired the left-handed Lilly and shortstop Ryan Theriot from the Cubs in exchange for Blake DeWitt and two pitching prospects.

The move will do wonders for Lilly who, while leaving the cushy NL Central, will surely post much higher win totals with the playoff-minded Dodgers than he did with the woeful Cubs. He also avoids a move to the American League which would have hurt his value quite a bit. Love him and cherish him the rest of the year.



Batting average in 14 games at PetCo Park for new Padre Ryan Ludwick , who comes over in a three-team deal that sends Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals. He joins a mediocre at-best outfield group consisting of Scott Hairston , Tony Gwynn Jr. , Will Venable and recent fireball Chris Denorfia , so he should have no problem finding playing time.

He also batted in the fourth slot his second game with the team behind major power threat Adrian Gonzalez , which would make up at least some for leaving a line up in which he batted in front of studs Albert Pujols and Matt Holiday .

His value does decrease some due to the change in scenery in PetCo, but if you needed RBIs this move is right up your alley.


More deadline numbers !



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Fantasy Baseball Forecast: Week 18

Start ‘Em :

Jorge Cantu (89 percent) : Start him, or if you can, pick him up and then start him. He is only owned in 89 percent of leagues and most recently trending downward. He’s going ot be streaking up soon. He will be entering one of the hitter-friendliest parks in the bigs as well as one of the most hitter-friendly lineups in the bigs. This week Texas faces Seattle and Oakland. Cantu’s career numbers against both teams: In over 150 at bats Jorge is hitting .297 with four home runs. He doesn’t have great career power numbers against these teams, yet he has hit for an average almost 25 points above his total career numbers and with the devastating lineup around him his RBI chances will skyrocket.

Josh Willingham (89 percent) : Just like Jorge, start ‘em if ya got ‘em. Josh has phenomenal numbers at Chase Field (.333 AVG, .360 OBP, .964 OPS through 48ABs) one of the league’s better hitter’s parks. The start of August ushers in Josh’s historically best month for home run hitting (1 HR/20 AB vs. a career 1 HR/ 24 AB w/o Aug.) and second-best month for batting average (.280 avg. vs. a career avg. .261 w/o Aug, nearly 20 points higher).

Rajai Davis (69 percent):   His speed is great but when you account for his great career hitting numbers against KC and at home, he makes more of a complete fantasy impact.  Career numbers against KC: .366 AVG. with an OBP of .451. If he can keep raking at this pace his potential for swipes could jump this upcoming week. After KC he plays at home where he plays against Texas, hitting a .314 clip against them this year, nearly 40 points above this year’s numbers. You also have to take into account that Rajai has a career post all-star average 50 points higher than before the Midsummer Classic, as well as an OPS that’s over 140 points higher. His hot pace continues with 11 hits in his last 33 at bats and five stolen bases as well over the course of the last 15 games.


Sit ‘Em:

David Wright: Against both the Braves and Phillies this year, David Wright is hitting a pathetic .163 through 49 at bats with only two home runs.  His average at Citizens Bank is 46 points below his career average. His average against the three Braves starting pitchers is .247 through 73 at bats. His news facing the Phillies isn’t much better. He’ll be facing the murderer’s row of pitching: Oswalt, Hamels, and Halladay. His career against these pitchers is a little better, .269, but has only one home run in 52 at bats. His recent cold streak should help increase the uneasiness too. Through his last 15 games he’s hitting .216 with a .585 OPS, ouch!

Matt Kemp:   One out of every three hits against the Padres for Matt Kemp is a home run. The bad thing is, that’s through 26 at bats.  The Padres are holding Matt Kemp to a weak .192 average this season.  The 4 starters that he will face are holding him down to an even worse .184 avg.

Carl Crawford:   Against the Blue Jays this year he’s hitting .226 in 31 at bats. He’s also hitting .250 for his career against the starting pitchers that he’ll face up against. Crawford has also been a victim of poor hitting lately. He has a .217 average and .577 OPS through his last 15 games played. (Insert America’s Funniest Home Video ball-to-crotch punch line here.)

Two-Start Pitchers:

Travis Wood (15.1 percent) :   Start this rookie sensation. His first start is at the cavernous PNC park, the fourth-worst park for home runs. Pitching against that Pirate lineup should raise a brow or two as well. Pittsburgh is hitting a weak .248 against lefty pitching. Start No. 2 for Travis Wood takes place in Chicago against the under achieving Cubs. There’s obviously not much history with this rookie against the Cubs, however he did have a great outing earlier on, giving up two runs off of two hits in seven innings.

Mat Latos:   Here’s another good two-start young phenom for this upcoming week. First he starts at Dodger Stadium against a team that he worked over pretty well earlier on in the season. As well, Latos holds lefties in check to a .188 BAA, neutralizing the better hitters of LA’s lineup (Xavier Paul, Andre Ethier, James Loney). Latos likes to minimize the home run threat with his great GB/FB ratio of .93.  His second start comes against the D-backs in the desert. Arizona’s average against righties is bad enough for 22nd at .252.  Adding to the potential for fantastic fantasy numbers for Latos is Arizona’s horrible strikeout rate. They lead baseball with 708 strikeouts against righties. Next closest…Florida with 632.  Expect a lot of whiffs for Latos.

Other Lesser-Known Two-Start SPs To Consider:

Clayton Richard (30.5 percent) – Same opponents as Latos above and always potential for a big game.

Randy Wells (9 percent) – This guy is on fire through his last three starts.  He has only allowed only three earned runs in 19.2 innings in the last three starts.

Written by James Bryce exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com .

Agree or Disagree with James? Leave a comment or reply to us on Twitter @TheFantasyFix

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MLB Trade Deadline: Texas Rangers Continue To Add Parts

It’s amazing to me that a team that is supposedly in financial ruins continues to add players at the trade deadline.

If there is an early winner from the July 31 trade deadline it has to be the Texas Rangers. First they added Cliff Lee, then they added Jorge Cantu, and now they have added Cristian Guzman. Obviously, the latter two aren’t in the same category as Lee, but they are solid pieces that can be used to help solve the Rangers’ World Series puzzle.

The Rangers acquired Guzman from the Washington Nationals for minor leaguers Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark. The Nationals will also send over $2 million to the Rangers to cover Guzman’s salary.

Guzman was batting .282/.327/.361 with two home runs and four stolen abses in 346 plate appearances for the Nationals this season.

With the Rangers sending Chris Davis down to Triple-A (his Rangers days might be over), Texas will now move Cantu over to first base full-time. Acquiring Guzman fills the void left by Ian Kinsler when he went on the DL.

Guzman has played 63 games at second this year for the Nationals, posting a -1.9 UZR. He will be a decent fill-in for Kinsler while he is out and he could spell Elvis Andrus from time to time. Once Kinsler returns from the DL, Guzman will move into a utility role.

The two prospects the Rangers gave up are nothing more than fringe prospects. Tatusko is 9-2 with a 2.97 ERA in Double-A, but he is already 25-years old and his K/9 has declined three years in a row. Roark is also a pitcher in Double-A, who was 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 17 starts.

Not only have the Rangers added a star player in Lee, but they have added depth in Cantu and Guzman. I really like what the Rangers have done this trade deadline.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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MLB Trade Deadline: Texas Rangers Doing What the Angels Should Have Done

The Texas Rangers are going to the playoffs, and it is clear they are not going to be happy with just “being there.”

Texas’ nine-game lead in the AL West appears to be safe as the fledgling Angels search in vain for answers.

With the addition of Cliff Lee, most of baseball realizes the Rangers will be able to hang with any team in the playoffs, but Texas is clearly not interested in just “hanging.” They are out to win their first world championship.

This is what going for it looks like, Angels fans.

Not satisfied with winning the biggest pitching prize at the trade deadline, Texas has kept busy acquiring key playoff pieces like Bengie Molina—a World Series champion catcher and clutch veteran leader.

Still not done, the Rangers acquired Jorge Cantu and his 54 RBI to help out at first base.

Their All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler goes on the disabled list, and boom! The Rangers waste no time in picking up two-time All-Star middle infielder Christian Guzman today to fill in.

So now they’re done, right?


Today, the Rangers offered the Florida Marlins their top three prospects for pitching ace Josh Johnson and are still reportedly in the running for Adam Dunn.

Clearly Texas is making moves they feel they need to make in order to compete with the New York Yankees—not the Angels.

Granted, these players are no Alberto Callaspo, but something tells me baseball fans in the Lone Star State are willing to live with that.

Obviously, the Dan Haren move was nice for the Angels, but once again, it is too little, too late at the trade deadline.

It’s a good thing the Angels did not make any short-term moves to try to save this season because it wouldn’t have done any good. They would have hurt themselves long-term in the process.

In fact, Angels fans should be sending thank you cards to Derreck Lee right now for saving Angels GM Tony Reagins from himself.

However, it makes one wonder what the Angels could have done if they would have traded their prospects to supplement the key pieces they already had in place a few years ago—pieces that are now scattered across the baseball landscape.

Texas is doing what most Angels fans were screaming at the top of their lungs for then-Angels GM Bill Stoneman to do.

Stoneman balked at the idea—touting virtually every Angel prospect as an un-tradeable future Hall of Famer.

So, instead of having Alex Rodriguez and possibly a few more rings, the Angels instead retained the services of their “future Hall of Famers” Brandon Wood, Howie Kendrick, Jeff Mathis, and Erick Aybar.

They also refused to trade baseball greats Casey Kotchman, Dallas McPherson, Joe Saunders and Kevin Jepsen.

When they finally did part with a few of these individuals, some acted as if they had parted with Mickey Mantle.

Ask yourself this, Angels fans. Is there any talent in that group of eight that you couldn’t acquire on any given year in free agency at a very reasonable price?

Then ask yourself, how often do you get the chance to make a trade for Babe Ruth? Because that is exactly who you passed on, Stoneman.

Texas understands that concept, despite having one of the top-ranked farm systems in baseball.

The Angels should have understood that, but they were too preoccupied falling in love with the fantasy of an impending dynasty that never materialized.

Instead, the Angels became to this decade what the Atlanta Braves were to the last—a very good team that never took the next step to greatness.

Now the Angels find themselves in a quagmire of underachieving, untradeable disappointments. They will now have to buy themselves out of this situation through free agent purchases during the offseason.

Not only have their prospects underperformed, they have managed to turn a team on the verge of greatness into nothing more than a .500 ball club.

As of now, and hopefully before the trade deadline, Reagins should consider nobody un-tradeable.

In the meantime, Angels fans will be gazing enviously toward Texas to see if their gamble pays off. If it does, Angels fans will continue to wonder about what might have been.

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2010 MLB Trade Deadline Rumors: Jorge Cantu, a Texas Ranger?

No matter that the Florida Marlins have won eight out of their last 10 games, it looks like they are sellers.

No east division pennant or National League wild-card dreams.

The first Marlin gone before Saturday non-waiver trade deadline could be third baseman Jorge Cantu.

According to various published reports, the Dallas Morning News and the Arlington Star-Telegram, the Texas Rangers have had advanced talks with the Florida Marlins about trading minor league pitching for Cantu.

General Manager Jon Daniels had declined to comment on specific trade possibilities, but he had also said on the record that they would like to add a right-handed hitter capable of playing first base in relief of Chris Davis.

Cantu is the Marlins’ starting third baseman but he has played first base throughout his career. This season he had started 40 times as a first baseman.

The seven-season McAllen, Texas native also can serve as a designated hitter. This season he started as a DH in the Marlins lineup nine times during inter-league games.

He is hitting .260 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs.

According to published resources, the Rangers like Cantu but are not committed yet, as they are looking to other players.

The Rangers also have interest, among other few possibilities, in Cantu’s Marlins teammate Wes Helms.

The Rangers have also scouted former Marlin and current Red Sox Mike Lowell, for whom the team agreed to make a trade last December before Lowell failed a physical.

The Rangers were prepared to send catcher Max Ramirez and $3 million to Boston for the 35-year-old four-time All-Star, however a torn radial collateral ligament in his right thumb derailed the trade.

Lowell is currently on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket.

In Tampa Bay, word has spread that the Detroit Tigers could possibly be interested in Lowell as a replacement for injured Carlos Guillen.

On the other hand, the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies are said to be bidding for Cantu’s services.

Rumours fly. What are the Marlins, sellers or buyers? Everyone will know in the near future.

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